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Selling Yourself

Tips for Marketing Your Skills and Services Whether you are just starting your career, considering going out on your own, or expanding your business, there are three steps that will make your journey easier: conduct a self-assessment, develop a business plan, and design a marketing strategy. Sounds simple enough, but most businesses fail within the first year simply because people skip one or more of these ...

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The Perils of the “Power of Substitution”

For “Intentionally Defective” Grantor Trusts (Part I of II) The power of substitution is held by the settlor of a grantor trust if this power is provided by the trust instrument. This power allows the settlor, at any time, to remove an asset or assets from the grantor trust in exchange for an asset or assets of equivalent value. Such a transfer can be problematic and vulnerable to challenge if the equivalen ...

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Federal Spending Bill Includes Tax Provisions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, H.R. 1625, which is the $1.3 trillion spending bill that Congress passed, contains a few tax-related provisions, including funding for the IRS and technical corrections to various recent pieces of tax legislation.  It also amends the centralized partnership audit regime and changes the Sec. 199A deduction for farmers who sell grain to agricultural cooperatives. To ...

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Twelve States Where Home Purchasing Power is on the Rise

The demand for housing has been outpacing supply since early 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors, putting upward pressure on home prices and creating affordability challenges for potential homebuyers already badgered by tight inventory.  However, consumer conditions vary geographically, meaning some states provide less stressful home-buying environments than others. To read the full arti ...

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What Wealthfront’s Reported Valuation Drop Means for Indie Robo Advisors

Despite several projections about the future strength of digital advice, executives took to social media to express doubts that wealth management disruptors would remain standing—undone instead by private equity investor demands, tepid growth and evolved competition. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: What Wealthfront’s Reported Valuation Drop Means for Indie Robo Advisors. ...

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The Due Diligence Imperative

Healthcare Regulatory Environment (Part III of VI) In the March/April 2018 issue of The Value Examiner, the author underscores the importance of undertaking rigorous due diligence to better understand the regulatory burdens and operational risks notwithstanding efforts to repeal and replace. ...

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Microsoft Office: Excel’s Versatile CONVERT Function

Q. We receive Excel-based reports from our European operations with the daily temperatures of our electrical generators and other equipment recorded in Celsius; what's the best way to convert these data to Fahrenheit in Excel? To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Microsoft Office: Excel's Versatile CONVERT Function. ...

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The Vital Tax Planning Tool Few Advisors Know

There’s an acronym few financial advisors are familiar with—but they absolutely should get to know.  DAPTs, the abbreviation for self-settled domestic asset protection trusts, can play an important role in planning for both income and estate taxes. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: The Vital Tax Planning Tool Few Advisors Know. ...

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As Planners Outgrow Their Roots, Hard Choices Lie Ahead

As the financial planning industry nears a fee-only, fiduciary world, we are finally outgrowing our profession’s roots—and for the better.  In the process, though, independent broker-dealers will face some important choices about their future business models. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: As Planners Outgrow Their Roots, Hard Choices Lie Ahead. ...

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Application of the Sales Projection Method

In Measuring Trustee Breach of Fiduciary Duty Damages (Part I of II) The prudent investment of trust assets can minimize the potential for trustee fiduciary litigation risk, in addition to maximizing the trust beneficiaries’ economic interest in the trust. However, trust beneficiaries may initiate a breach of fiduciary duty tort claim when they feel that the trustee has breached any investment management fi ...

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Want a Better Practice?

Perform a File Autopsy! We live and die in/by our engagements. Bet you never thought of it that way. But really, tell me life isn’t just peachy when you’re working on a fun/interesting/profitable case. And that life doesn’t just suck when you’re not. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more peaches? In this article, Rod Burkert shares his After Action Review process that enables practitioners to (re)focus on cases ...

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The Power of Saying No

Saying yes is killing your productivity.  Chances are, you’ve agreed to take on a request from a colleague or client only to soon regret it because: you’re already on the edge in terms of capacity or stress; you have no time to recharge; it has a domino effect, making you late for remaining appointments and depleting your energy in the process.  Sound familiar?  If so, you need to say no more often. To read ...

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How to Compensate Partners to Keep Your Firm on Track

If your firm is considering making any changes to your existing partner compensation plan, from a minor tweak to a major overhaul, there are some basic concepts that you should keep in mind. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: How to Compensate Partners to Keep Your Firm on Track. ...

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Chasing the Elusive Butterfly of Volatility

Accepting and Rejecting Data from Public Company Data Valuation analysts who, for whatever reason, eschew the publicly traded guideline company method but who would like to use option models for various aspects of the valuation assignment, face a conundrum. All option models require, as an input, a volatility factor in percentage format. Since the only place to derive such a volatility factor (usually defin ...

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The SWS Group, Inc., Chancery Court Appraisal Decision

Fair Value Not Based on the Merger Price (Part II of II) This is the second of a two-part article (read part one here) that focuses on the SWS Group, Inc. case and the interplay between merger price and fair value. In earlier cases, the Delaware Court of Chancery rejected a merger price indication in favor of its own discounted cash flow analysis. Yet, in the SWS Group, Inc. appraisal decision, instead of a ...

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Do You Know Where Your Client Data Is?

No financial technology innovation has saved advisors more time than when custodians began transmitting data files to firms.  Prior to this change, client data was updated by taking statements and keying them into the portfolio accounting system.  At the end of each quarter, statements were stacked thick and the data entry sprint began so that client reporting and billing could be completed. To read the ful ...

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Could this Simple Social Security Strategy Solve the Retirement Crisis?

The key to implementing this suggested strategy is establishing auto-IRA plans to workers who lack a 401(k) option with a preset percentage of wages to be contributed to the plan.  This would create a retirement nest egg that would not be linked to any one employer, but rather would stay with the worker throughout a career. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Could this Simple Social Secur ...

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